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Couscous Salad with Dried Cherries

1 cup water or chicken broth
3/4 cup quick-cooking couscous, uncooked
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup carrots, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup unpeeled cucumber, chopped
1/4 cup green onions, sliced
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts or slivered almonds (optional)
3 Tbs balsamic vinegar
1 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste

Bring water or broth to a boil in a medium saucepan, stir in couscous. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 5 min. Fluff with a fork. Let cool, uncovered, for 10 min. In large bowl, add cooked couscous, dried cherries, carrots, cucumber, green onions and pine nuts, mix well. Combine vinegar, olive oil, and mustard in a small container, mix well. Pour over couscous mixture and stir to coat all ingredients. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Yield: 6 Servings

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